Onward toward loving-kindness
So things have been changing at Amanda Reagan Therapy! I started my practice about 9 months ago with a big heart and lofty goals. I wasn't sure I was ready. I wasn't sure of a name. I stuck with my comfort zone because it was easy. I have learned that I needed to lean into fear and trust my heart. Meditation was a guiding force for me. This is where I was introduced to maitri (pronounced "my tree"). This is how I settled on my "re-branding." I will walk you through my meditative journey (in a super quick fashion!) so you can see how powerful maitri can be.
Our hearts are always fundamentally open, even when it feels like they shouldn't be. They’re just covered up sometimes by doubt, hesitation, fear, anxiety, and all kinds of self-protective habitual patterns. The practice of opening the heart is based on exploring and reversing some of these patterns. We cultivate openness while noting and dissolving the habits that obscure our natural sympathy and compassion for others. After creating a proper ground by training our mind, it is a natural evolution of our practice to develop care and consideration for others. In fact, there are many meditation practices that are intended to develop kindness and compassion toward others as well as ourselves.
This practice is called maitri. Maitri means loving-kindness or unconditional friendliness. It can be a natural outgrowth of mindfulness and awareness, but it is also a further step into overcoming and transforming our habitual patterns of selfishness and aggression. Maitri is a contemplative practice that encourages us to use our thoughts and imagination creatively. We actually use the thinking mind to help us develop sympathy toward others. Seems fitting, right? We hope you like the change.